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GGC – 70 – The Ruth Stout Method of Permaculture


SHORT VIDEO DOES AN EXCELLENT JOB EXPLAINING THE 'NO-WORK RUTH STOUT METHOD' OF GARDENING. Ruth Stout pioneered the concept of planting seed very shallow and then covering up everything with a thick hay mulch.
Crops – like potatoes – can be harvested simply by peeling back the decomposing mulch and no-digging needed.
This easy method eliminates the back-breaking work of digging into the soil. The Ruth Stout Method conserves water and quickly and radically improves soil tilth and fertility in a short amount of time.
Decades ago Ruth was a frequent contributor to 'Organic Farming and Gardening Magazine. We've tried her Ruth-Stout-Method and it works well!
This is a well-done and informative 'You Tube ' video by Derek & Polly of 'Back to Reality.' Caleb, Megan & JIm




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Hunts Point Wholesale Produce Market adjusts to COVID-19 uncertainty

INSIDER DISPATCH FROM 'HUNT'S POINT PRODUCE TERMINAL' AMIDST COVID-19. The Bronx's 'Hunt's Point' wholesale produce market "buying, selling, storing and distributing fresh fruits and vegetables to stores and restaurants still allowed to offer takeout and delivery" is the largest wholesale produce terminal in the world. Hunt's Point employs 10,000 workers and serves 7% of of the US population within the 50 mile radius of NYC.
The stories swireling around Hunt's Point are legendary. Decades ago one Maine truck driver regularly hauling Maine potatoes broached the Wild West reputation by relating that on the approach to Hunt's Point, experienced truckers knew to slow down but NEVER stop at traffic lights out of dread they would be bushwhacked and their load hijacked.
Produce Industry rag 'The Packer' offers this glimpse into Hunt's Point during the Covid-19 crisis. Caleb, Megan & Jim

"Between a third and 40% of Bronx, N.Y.-based Hunts Point Produce Market’s business is from foodservice customers, and most of the rest is from retailers…

"Since stay-at-home mandates have closed schools, venues, events and many restaurants, overall market business has dropped to about 60% of the business they had at the same time last year, said Fierman, also president of Fierman Produce, one of 31 companies on the market.

"'We lost a big part of New York — that tourist trade, theater, the part that makes New York, New York,' Fierman said. 'I think everybody’s buying patterns are more cautious. It’s hard to go long on it. We’re on a shorter leash because money is not as easy to come by right now.'

"The market's overall foodservice business, which had stopped, is now at 10% to 15%, compared to more than one-third of sales before the pandemic, D’Arrigo said. Retail business doubled during the panic-buying stage, but now it’s leveled to 20% to 30% higher than it was pre-pandemic, he said.

"In a city with booming sidewalk and subway traffic, consumers typically visit the grocery store three to five times a week, but now with social distancing and lengthy lines, they’re going once a week, so produce sales have dropped..

"Stores are ordering less produce, partly because 'there’s only so much room on a truck, and people are hoarding toilet paper and frozen pizza,' Katzman said…

"D’Arrigo said he thinks the tried and true methodology — 'old-school and reactionary' — of doing business in the market will remain the same in the coming months.

“'It’s traffic-based. It’s always going to be this release valve. This is kind of a last-resort market for oversupply. This pandemic isn’t going to change us that much,' D’Arrigo said."

Hunts Point Wholesale Produce Market adjusts to COVID-19 uncertainty

The world’s largest wholesale produce terminal market is not experiencing supply shortages of any kind, although statewide closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic have caused demand to fluctuate wildly.


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Gorgeous Photos Show How Farms Are Helping People During The Covid-19 Crisis

A REVIEW OF HOW SOME MAINE FAMILY FARMS ARE ADAPTING IN THE COVID-19 CRISIS. Thankfully, amidst the social and market upheaval of Covid-19, innovation, adaptability and resilience are being amply demonstrated on Maine's family organic farms.
Contrast this good-news-local-story with Industrial Ag's floundering structural failures – such as the closures of mega meat packing plants and the dumping of hundreds of tanker loads of milk at the same time store reefer shelves are empty of retail cartons – and it becomes clear Industrial Ag's convoluted and highly concentrated paradigm is a risky, national security threat in need of major reform.
This excellent 'BuzzFeed' article is made even more valuable by the striking photographs taken by Portland photojournalist Greta Rybus. Caleb, Megan & Jim

"The day the coronavirus hit Maine, two things became immediately clear to Burger: Their restaurant business, which is most of their income stream, was dead — but people still needed food. Within a day, he and his wife set up a makeshift store on the farm. Phone calls and people started streaming in. While suddenly juggling the additional challenge of homeschooling their two children, Calla, 8, and Isaac, 10, Burger and Wiederkehr stopped making cheese and kept all of the milk from their cows raw or for yogurt. They brought in greens, eggs, and other goods from neighbors’ farms. They put some of their pork in the store freezer, some daffodil seedlings on the window sill, and haven’t looked back since…

"Almost overnight, food access points in Maine have decentralized. On-farm stands and home delivery have increased exponentially. A University of Maine Extension map of farm stands and pickup sites now lists 400 options. A recent analysis by local food experts estimates a $689 million decline in local and regional markets nationwide between March and May. Maine farmers are concerned about lost sales, particularly as social distancing continues into the critical summer months. But by creating new ways to connect with consumers online and on the farm, they are, so far, weathering the crisis."

Gorgeous Photos Show How Farms Are Helping People During The Covid-19 Crisis

Maine farmers are showing their resilience and leaning in to the COVID-19 crisis.


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YET ANOTHER SNOWSTORM HITS NORTHERN MAINE. One of the sayings of old-timer Main…

YET ANOTHER SNOWSTORM HITS NORTHERN MAINE. One of the sayings of old-timer Mainers was "Late Easter, Late Spring." Overnight Aroostook County received another 8" of new snow adding to the Winter's ten feet of snowfall.
Here, Megan heads for the barn with two buckets of ground-up cull potatoes. 'Halle,' our Great Pyranees guard dog pursues a scent beneath the snow.
All farms generate off-grade goods including our organic Certified Seed Potato farm (www.woodprairie.organic). Since some culls might cause crop-disease-spread, it's best to feed the waste out to livestock which convert it into valuable protein.
In the barn await our Irish Dexter Cattle and American Guinea Hogs both of which readily digest the uncooked potatoes. Caleb, Megan & Jim




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Building A Victory Garden 2.0 Raised Garden Bed – National Garden Bureau

GETTING GOING GARDENING: MAKING "RAISED BEDS." If you are new to gardening don't be intimidated. You come from good stock and most of your ancestors have kept gardens for the last 8,000 years.
Here is a good primer from National Gardening Bureau about how to build an in-the-ground Raised Garden Bed.
You'll need some bricks or lumber (Cedar, Hemlock and Tamarack are best; 'Home Depot' Spruce/Fir/Pine will do but won't last as long; avoid 'pressure-treated' lumber because of leachate concerns).
You will need to fill your new bed with a mixture of soil and compost available at Garden Centers. In the bottom, first lay down a thick layer of cardboard or newspaper to kill out grass or weeds..
A well-designed and well-managed organic garden will give you reliable harvests and last indefinitely, so consider the project a capital investment and mentally spread out the costs over a 5 or 10-year life.
Good luck and get going! Caleb, Megan & Jim

"Today’s gardeners have more options for where and how to start their gardens than the original Victory Gardeners. Of course, in-ground is always an option, as are container gardens for your Victory Garden 2.0.

"Raised beds are another option. Don’t be intimidated, we’ll explain how easy it is to build your own! A basic raised bed, like the ones you see in community gardens, is quick, inexpensive to build, and lets you start gardening right away. Here’s an article for more details on the benefits and how-tos of raised bed gardens."

Building A Victory Garden 2.0 Raised Garden Bed – National Garden Bureau

A Victory Garden 2.0 raised garden bed, is quick, inexpensive to build, and lets you start gardening right away. Have a raised bed to match your needs.


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Building A Victory Garden 2.0 Raised Garden Bed – National Garden Bureau

GETTING INTO GARDENING: GOOD PRIMER ON MAKING "RAISED BEDS." If you are new to gardening don't be intimidated. You come from good stock and most of your ancestors have kept gardens for the last 8,000 years.
Here is a good primer from National Gardening Bureau about how to build an in-the-ground Raised Bed.
You'll need some bricks or lumber (Cedar, Hemlock and Tamarack are best; 'Home Depot' Spruce/Fir/Pine will do but won't last as long; avoid 'pressure-treated' lumber because of leachate concerns).
You will need to fill your new bed with a mixture of soil and compost available at Garden Centers. In the bottom, first lay down a thick layer of cardboard or newspaper to kill out grass or weeds..
A well-designed and well-managed organic garden will give you reliable harvests and last indefinitely, so consider the project a capital investment and mentally spread out the costs over a 5 or 10-year life.
Good luck and get going! Caleb, Megan & Jim

"Today’s gardeners have more options for where and how to start their gardens than the original Victory Gardeners. Of course, in-ground is always an option, as are container gardens for your Victory Garden 2.0.

"Raised beds are another option. Don’t be intimidated, we’ll explain how easy it is to build your own! A basic raised bed, like the ones you see in community gardens, is quick, inexpensive to build, and lets you start gardening right away. Here’s an article for more details on the benefits and how-tos of raised bed gardens."

Building A Victory Garden 2.0 Raised Garden Bed – National Garden Bureau

A Victory Garden 2.0 raised garden bed, is quick, inexpensive to build, and lets you start gardening right away. Have a raised bed to match your needs.


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A MILD SPRING MORNING ON WOOD PRAIRIE LOADING DOCK. Cooper the cat soaks in som…

A MILD SPRING MORNING ON WOOD PRAIRIE LOADING DOCK. Cooper the cat soaks in some rays on a recent Maine morning. The sun was shining and the temperature warm enough to leave open our south-facing loading dock garage door in our Wood Prairie Family Farm packing shed (www.woodprairie.organic).
Every day, Jeremy from Fedex, Josh from UPS and Larry the mailman – Critical Workers – back up to this door. They load up parcels containing Organic Maine Certified Seed Potatoes, organic vegetable seed and organic cover crop seed bound for gardeners and family farmers in all 50 States.
We've been performing this same ritual for 30 years. Thanks for your patience as we do our best to keep up with the huge surge of seed orders due to the COVID-19 crisis and Americans' increased commitment to growing a garden. Caleb, Megan & Jim




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BREAKING NEWS! UPDATE FOR ENTERPRISING MARKET FARMERS: ORGANIC MAINE CERTIFIED S…

BREAKING NEWS! UPDATE FOR ENTERPRISING MARKET FARMERS: ORGANIC MAINE CERTIFIED SEED POTATOES CURRENTLY AVAILABLE IN LARGE QUANTITIES. We've updated our WPFF potato stock inventory and – for now! – we have THREE varieties available for shipping in sizes up to and including multiple 45 Lbs Cartons: Yukon Gold, Dark Red Norland and All-Blue.
BACK OF ENVELOPE FIGURING: Every 45# Carton plants 500 Row Feet yielding 500#. Retail @$2.50 brings $1250 Gross. Caleb, Megan & Jim
https://www.woodprairie.com/…/organic-certified-yukon-gold…/
https://www.woodprairie.com/…/organic-certified-dark-red-n…/
https://www.woodprairie.com/…/organic-certified-all-blue-s…/




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Video shows Yosemite National Park full of animals in the absence of humans

VIDEO: WHAT'S YOSEMITE LIKE WITHOUT THE CROWDS OF HUMANS? Thanks to COVID-19 Yosemite National Park was closed down a month ago. Human footprints in Yosemite Valley have disappeared and as nature takes hold wild animals are filling in the void. This peaceful short video (1:37) offers a glimpse of the old Yosemite without people.
Five years ago Jim spoke at the National Heirloom Expo. He was accompanied by Caleb's sisters, Sarah & Amy. Since it was the girls first time in California they took a detour to Yosemite, staying overnight in a tent cabin in the alpine backcountry-jumping-off-point, Tuolumne Meadows. With the drought, Yosemite Valley air was smokey from park forest fires and waterfalls had been reduced to minor trickles.
Despite crowds Yosemite is worth the visit when you have the chance. Caleb, Megan & Jim

Video shows Yosemite National Park full of animals in the absence of humans

Nature carries on.


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